…And we’re back on track with #projectragdoll!

It’s been around 18 months since any progress has been made with our giant rag doll. This was partly due to myself being on maternity leave and trying to co-ordinate all of our helpers to get together to finish sewing the doll, which due to important commitments such as family and business was proving very difficult. The ladies who have been helping have been amazing but time is precious and I needed new people on board to help move the project forward. AND…..this is when my lovely neighbour Margaret listened to me explain all about #projectragdoll and stepped in to help. Margaret knew we needed more people to help to finish the doll and she talked to her local sewing group at North Tyneside Library (Monkseaton branch) about the project to see if they wanted to jump to board and help out. Debra who works  at the library helps to co-ordinate the sewing group and was really keen to help support the project as were the ladies in the sewing group. Margaret told me that the ladies at the sewing group had a great time sewing the children’s patches onto the rag doll and they’d had some wonderful discussions as a result, talking about their own hopes, dreams and wishes, laughing a lot and it really gave them a sense of community spirit. Margaret then mentioned that how when they were all sitting in the library sewing the rag doll a little boy came in with his Mam and went over to tell them that he had made one of the patches that they were sewing on…..how lovely is...
How to support a child through puberty

How to support a child through puberty

Going through puberty is a challenging time in any young persons life. By being aware of the feelings and issues our children may face at this time we are in a better place to support them through this often bumpy transition into adulthood. We asked the lovely people over at our RagHeroes Parents Group what are the best ways to support a child through puberty. This is what they said: 1. Always be honest and tell them if they have any worries or questions they can ask you and you will explain it . 2. I am trying to make my 13yr old daughter understand the importance of washing/showering daily it’s a battle. 3. I have a 12 year old boy and I’m always very open and honest with him. I’d rather he heard it all from me rather than finding himself embarrassed. I was extremely proud that we have such a good relationship that he felt comfortable enough to come and ask me if getting hair down there was normal. 4. I have an 11 year old son and I want to wait another year before telling him. 5. It seems that puberty is happening earlier than it used to in general, and I think my daughter may experience it too soon for my liking! She is developing breasts already She is only 8 (9 in March) and is intellectually and emotionally very immature for her age so you can imagine that combined with early puberty?! 6. I think it’s normal for puberty to start around 8/9 years for girls now, a bit later for boys. My boys...
What’s it really like to be a single parent?

What’s it really like to be a single parent?

Over at our RagHeroes Parents Group (join here) our Mums talk about what it’s really like to be a single parent… “Auto pilot…I’m seriously just winging the single parenting thing….so far it’s gone in my my favour.” “I take my hat off to single parents.” “I feel I’m a single parent most times, I get up with kids, take them to school, dress, wash and feed them while hubby works all hours, by time he comes in I’ve got them from school, fed them, bathed them and they’re practically in bed and having 7 kids its actually not that hard.” “Kids come to mum when they need something and dad for fun.” “They only want him when he has money lol well bar the youngest one whos the only one who really is a daddys boy, loves his daddy cuddles.” “I find it easier with 3 than I did with a man and only 2….actually wouldn’t change the way things are for the world. I was told my daughter is being diagnosed with adhd and dyspraxia on Wednesday, you know what? Ive coped them with that on my own for 6 years, I’m damn well proud of my kids and how I’ve raised all 3 of them. Really don’t need a man.” “Mums only need their kids.” “Never been a single parent. I have friends who are. But being a single parent I don’t think makes you any different to a parent in a relationship. Being a parent is the same for anyone. You don’t change the way you look after your children. And I also think that single...

Naughty parents!

So after a discussion on dealing with our children’s behaviour, we decided to ask our parents over at RagHeroes Parents Group (join here) what was the naughtiest thing they ever done as a child? As you can see below, some of their answers are hilarious! “You know I really don’t know, I need to think about it! My brothers now I could tell you that! His was throwing an axe at me! Lol” “I confess: I used to steal sweets.” “I drew a big line in blue pen on my parents nice new white wallpaper on the stairs, blamed my brother – he got sent to bed without breakfast as it was first thing in the morning whilst I had mine until my dad found out the truth!” “Oh I painted the chess board (dads pride and joy, big ornate expensive thing) with nail varnish I got hell for leather for that!” “I wee’d in a cup & pretended it was orange squash & offered it to my older brother, he accepted it even though it was steaming.” “Oh dear too many lol I stole from shops as a kid around 11, smoked my 1st cigarette aged 11, had numerous fights, as a teen we’d ride motorbikes and quads around fields to get a chase, a group of us used to hang around flats in dagenham essex when I was about 14-15 smoking something I shouldn’t have, and was basically a little so n so, a couple of things I’ve chosen to omit mind you, don’t worry I’m not so psycho killer lol or been to jail but yeah,...

Birth Story 8

This is an anonymous post kindly submitted by one of the parents in our RagHeroes Parent’s Group. All identifying details have been changed. 28 weeks pregnant with my 3rd child, another boy! Up until then all had gone swimmingly. However, things would soon change. I started bleeding again, just spotting and getting tightenings. Given my previous history of a premature birth I went in to be checked out, I was examined and placed on a monitor. I was dialated at 1cm but the tightenings weren’t contractions just braxton hicks. I was told to rest as much as I could with 2 children under the age of 2. So I did. On and off I continued to have the spotting but was assured by my midwife it was fine. Then at 33 weeks exactly I began bleeding more severely with the tightenings gaining momentum. Concerned I called the midwife who came out right away and upon examining me she found my waters to be trickling and felt the tightenings had now changed from braxton hicks to contractions. She called an ambulance. The ambulance came and what a palaver that was. I wasn’t allowed to walk down the stairs as she felt I was close to giving birth so I was strapped to a stretcher and carried down the stairs… that was scary. When we got to the hospital I was monitored but by now everything had stopped again. So just as they were going to allow me home under bed rest, at 9pm as if on the dot I had another tightening. The doctor felt it and felt it was...

Birth Story 7

This is an anonymous post kindly submitted by one of the parents in our RagHeroes Parent’s Group. All identifying details have been changed. Today is a day like any other. My then fiancé, now hubby, was at work, our 7.5 month old son James is taking his nap and I am just about to prepare dinner. I need the toilet so off I waddle only then I go into sheer panic….. I’m bleeding and not just a little…. a lot! Those Braxton Hicks I’d been having today were surely just pretend right?! But the blood, I’m scared. I call hubby in tears telling him ‘Come home now somethings wrong, I’m bleeding.’ Half an hour later hubby arrived home and with our little boy in tow we make our way to the hospital. We arrive and I’m checked out, hooked up to a monitor and told ‘yes you are having tightenings but they are not contractions, you are not in labour, the blood we aren’t sure why but all is ok and you can go home.’ We go home and I place myself on the bed to rest much as I can with a 7.5 month old! Hubby returns to work and we reassure ourselves the doctors said everything is ok. Only it wasn’t! 16th September 2005, just a day later, the bleeding is still as bad and the tightenings are getting more frequent…. then….. as I got up to go to the toilet ‘David come quick something is falling out of me,’ I feared it was our baby girl, please let her be ok. David carried me back to...

Birth Story 6

This is an anonymous post kindly submitted by one of the parents in our RagHeroes Parent’s Group. All identifying details have been changed. April 2004 – I’d been with my boyfriend for 2 weeks, some may say we rushed things. I was homeless, admittedly through my own choice, I had left my mothers home for various reasons! Awaiting a flat from the council I was offered a place to stay with David at his parent’s house. All so grown up, I was 18 and living with a man! Well things were soon to change even more when we found out that I was pregnant. Will he leave me? What will our parent’s say? What will people think? But one thing was for sure….. I was keeping my baby! Fast forward 9 months and David and I were still together, he stuck by me and we now had our own flat. On the 29th January 2004 this was it, my labour had started bang on my due date. We went into hospital to be told that wasn’t my water’s – that I’d wee’d myself…. Oh the shame! and the ‘contractions’ were in fact just Braxton Hicks. As I was also bleeding I was told that had things not started happening within the next few days I’d be induced. Well it didn’t come to that as on the 30th I was back in hospital and this time I WAS in labour. I was scared and in a lot of pain. I was only 19 and thought I knew it all….. boy was I wrong! I laboured for 19.5 hours going through...

Birth Story 5

This is an anonymous post kindly submitted by one of the parents in our RagHeroes Parent’s Group. All identifying details have been changed. I was all ready to go into hospital on the 9th April last year for an elective caesarean but after an uncomfortable night on the 7th I woke up with a weird feeling. During the day I ended up getting mild contractions, what I was putting down to braxton hicks! Then around 10am I thought that my waters had broken and I looked down to see blood down below all over me! Panic struck. But being home with my two sons ages 14 and 20 years I didn’t want to panic them and so I remained as calm as I could. I asked my 14 year old to call for an ambulance and as usual my older son was in bed! The ambulance took just 4 minutes to get to me and as it arrived so did my mum, who was coming up to see how I was today – what a surprise she walked in to, me on the living room floor legs akimbo, blood everywhere, ambulance people amongst them, and my two lads looking shell shocked! It all happened so fast then. I was waltzed straight to the maternity theatre and the baby was born within a 1/2 hour of the ambulance coming. I was apparently having a placental abruption, it was touch and go that either of us would have survived. They said if I had of fallen asleep or left it any longer we wouldn’t have survived as I had lost so...

Birth Story 4

This is an anonymous post kindly submitted by one of the parents in our RagHeroes Parent’s Group. All identifying details have been changed. I had a normal healthy pregnancy and spent hours carefully writing out my birth plan with my partner (which nobody at the hospital bothered to read). My waters broke at 1am on a Sunday morning so I phoned the maternity ward and was told to go in to get checked over. We planned to have a water birth and were told all the way through my pregnancy that this would happen as they had never had a situation where they had had to turn someone down due to someone else using the pool. This was until we got there and was told the pool room was already in use because they were having a busy night!!! I was 1cm dilated and my waters hadn’t totally came away, just the bit in front of the baby so I wasn’t in actual labour. I was devastated to think I was going to be sent home as I had already had one false alarm and desperately wanted to meet my little girl who was 5 days overdue. I wasn’t having any contractions yet but the midwife agreed to let me stay for four hours, would examine me again to see if I was dilating and if not I would be booked in to be induced on Monday morning. The first few hours were pretty uneventful. I bounced on the birthing ball like I had been doing at home. I then started getting contractions and was moved into the nicer...

One ladies experience of severe morning sickness

This is an anonymous post kindly submitted by one of the parents in our RagHeroes Parent’s Group. All identifying details have been changed. “Have you tried ginger biscuits?” “Try drinking Lucozade,” “it’s only morning sickness!” Just some of the things I heard a lot when I was pregnant with my son, but what a lot of people didn’t realise is hyperemesis gravidarum is a lot worse than that. When my sickness started as soon as I did a pregnancy test, I thought it would soon ease. How wrong was I. After a week of none stop sickness, everything finding its way back up (even water) I couldn’t take anymore. I was weak and tired of being told to get on with it. A trip to the doctors and a hospital admission made me realise that, although I felt stupid being in hospital, that maybe there was something more serious wrong. It was then that I learnt about hyperemesis (hg), the effect it can have on women and just how serious it can become. Severely dehydrated and with high ketone levels I was hooked up to a drip and started on anti sickness injections which took effect almost immediately. A week later I was eventually discharged and placed on medication for the length of my pregnancy. Weirdly just before my 20wk scan the medication stopped working, the sickness returned and I was threatened with another hospital stay unless the new tablets worked. For 30 weeks I felt nauseous daily, couldn’t travel anywhere, could only eat plain and bland food and spent more time than necessary working out what I could...